Low Vitamin D levels associated with chronic illnesses with inflammatory component

Published On 2022-08-10 14:30 GMT   |   Update On 2022-08-10 14:31 GMT

Persistence of Inflammation can contribute to host of complex diseases including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and autoimmune diseases.Researchers at University of South Australia have found in first genetic research of its kind that there exists a direct link between low levels of vitamin D and high levels of inflammation. This may provide an important biomarker to identify people at...

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Persistence of Inflammation can contribute to host of complex diseases including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and autoimmune diseases.

Researchers at University of South Australia have found in first genetic research of its kind that there exists a direct link between low levels of vitamin D and high levels of inflammation. This may provide an important biomarker to identify people at higher risk of or severity of chronic illnesses with an inflammatory component.

The study examined the genetic data of 294 ,970 participants in the UK Biobank, using Mendelian randomization to show the association between vitamin D and C-reactive protein levels, an indicator of inflammation.

Lead researcher, UniSA'sDr Ang Zhou, says the findings suggest that boosting vitamin Din people with a deficiency may reduce chronic inflammation.

"Inflammation is your body's way of protecting your tissues if you've been injured or have an infection," Dr Zhou says.

"High levels of C-reactive protein are generated by the liver in response to inflammation, so when your body is experiencing chronic inflammation, it also shows higher levels of C-reactive protein.

"This study examined vitamin D and C-reactive proteins and found a one-way relationship between low levels of vitamin D and high levels of C-reactive protein, expressed as inflammation.

"Boosting vitamin D in people with deficiencies may reduce chronic inflammation, helping them avoid a number of related diseases."

Supported by the National Health and Medical Research Council and published in theInternational Journal of Epidemiology the study also raises the possibility that having adequate vitamin D concentrations may mitigate complications arising from obesity and reduce the risk or severity of chronic illnesses with an inflammatory component, such as CVDs, diabetes, and autoimmune diseases.

Senior investigator and Director of UniSA'sAustralian Centre for Precision Health, Professor Elina Hyppönen, says these results are important and provide an explanation for some of the controversies in reported associations with vitamin D.

"We have repeatedly seen evidence for health benefits for increasing vitamin D concentrations in individuals with very low levels, while for others, there appears to be little to no benefit." Prof Hyppönen says.

"These findings highlight the importance of avoiding clinical vitamin D deficiency, and provide further evidence for the wide-ranging effects of hormonal vitamin D."

Reference:

Ang Zhou, Elina Hyppönen, Vitamin D deficiency and C-reactive protein: a bidirectional Mendelian randomization study, International Journal of Epidemiology, 2022;, dyac087, https://doi.org/10.1093/ije/dyac087

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Article Source : International Journal of Epidemiology

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